Parliament has allowed the presentation of a motion for the amendment of Article 102 (b) the constitution. The motion, to be presented by Igara West MP, could pave way for the removal of the presidential age limit currently capped at 75.
The acceptance of the motion was announced by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga after amending the order paper issued earlier in the day. She announced that Parliament was accepting three of the seven notices for motions issued by private members over the last one week.
The accepted motions include, the constitutional amendment by Raphael Magyezi to scrap the presidential age limit, a motion by workers MP Dr Sam Lyomoki providing for transition and one by Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe seeking for a Constitutional Review Commission.
But parliament rejected the motion for a bill titled the Museveni Succession, Transition and Immunities 2017″ which, according to him, was to provide a soft landing for President Yoweri Museveni upon retirement and another by Manjiya county Member of Parliament John Baptist Nambetsye proposing that MP’s appointed to cabinet must resign their parliamentary seats.
Also rejected was a notice for a motion seeking to remove all academic qualifications for political offices by Kasambya county MP Mbwatekamwa Gaffa and a motion for a bill to discuss the return of the Federal system of government filed by Mukono South MP Johnson Muyanja Senyonga. The speaker said the motions were not competently filed.
However the decision by the speaker was challenged by the leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza saying that it was not procedurally right for the house to be ambushed with the controversial motion. Her outcry was however watered down by Kadaga, asking whether she was questioning the powers of the Speaker.
The house degenerated into chaos when opposition members declined to take their seats, resulting into fist fights between MPs Theodore Sekikubo, Ronald Kibuule and Allan Sewanyana. They were claiming that Kibuule had accessed the chambers with a gun putting the safety of other legislators at risk.
Relatedly, 10 members of parliament representing UPDF on Tuesday had an internal closed meeting and agreed to abandon taking any sides in supporting presidential age limit.
According to Col Felix Kulayigye who was one of the participants revealed that they resolved not take part in any age limit debate because they want to remain impartial.
‘’We are a professional force so we shall not participate in partisan politics’ ‘he said
The legislators agreed that they will express their opinion through voting once the matter is brought before the floor of parliament.
The meeting was chaired by veteran soldier General Elly Tumwine who advised his colleagues to remain neutral until the bill is concluded